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Hardball Weekend

News/Business. The best of 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'

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Chicago 10, Jack Welch 7, Obama 6, Romney 5, Rick Santorum 3, Cynthia 3, Newt Gingrich 3, Cynthia Tucker 2, Michael Steele 2, Subaru 2, Pbs 2, Jennifer Granholm 2, Jack 2, Lord 2, Garth 2, Olay 2, Ja 1, Charlotte 1, Nixon 1, Jack Bernstein 1,
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  MSNBC    Hardball Weekend    News/Business. The best of  
   'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'  

    October 7, 2012
    7:00 - 7:30am EDT  

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ever. 7.8 jobless n umber. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in down in washington. let me start with the good news on the unemployment front, getting the jobless number below 8%, down to 7.8% a month before the election could be the upbeat news to give this president the big-time bounce he needs. since the campaign began we've known the power of the unemployment figure. now we have the number itself. plus, the good news about the last two months.
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the economy created more jobs than previously estimated. there are people who don't like this number at all. leading the band is the legendary ceo of general electric, jack welch. jack, you made a lot of news today. here's the tweet you put out this morning. unbelievable jobs numbers. these chicago guys will do anything. can't debate, so change numbers. and i'm just wondering, i understand the way it works the president gets a heads up on the unemployment number 4:00 the day before and has to keep it to himself. you're saying in your tweet this morning that the news went the other way, the people working for the president somehow got the bureau of labor statistics and played with the numbers so it's down below 8 today. how does it work from your perspective? what happened here? >> all i can talk about are some of the numbers. we had 600,000 government jobs added in the last two months. we had 873,000 jobs by a household survey, which is a total estimate, from 50,000 phone calls.
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of those 600,000 were temporary workers. chris, these numbers are all a series of assumptions. tons of assumptions. and it just seems somewhat coincidental that the month before the election the numbers go 0.1% below when they were when the president started, although, i don't see anything in the economy that says these surges are true. the 873,000 jobs in the household survey is the strongest economy since 1983. i don't think you can find an economist. there were 25 of them this morning that predicted 8.1 to 8.2 but they did forget 114,000 jobs. we got 114,000 jobs and somehow, the assumptions ended up at 7.8. >> let me just get back to your tweet this morning. it must be embarrassing for you to do a tweet after the power
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you used to have. tweeting doesn't seem like something i'd hear from jack welch. and i mean it. unbelievable job numbers, fair enough. these chicago guys will do anything to change the numbers. what evidence do you have to the chicago guys got to the bureau of labor statistics and jimmied these numbers by 0.3%. >> i have no evidence. i just raised the question. >> you didn't raise the question. you said these chicago guys will do anything so they changed the number. you are asserting in your tweet that you put out at 8:35 this morning, five minutes after the report came out that did you talk to the economists or anyone who understand how the numbers were put together before you accused the chicago guys of changing the numbers? >> chris, i know these numbers are gathered by a series of wild assumptions, maybe they weren't right at 8.5. maybe they weren't right at 8.4.
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but it seems coincidental that one month before the election, they would end up at 7.8. the president today is on the stump. the president, all he's talked about is 7.8. he didn't mention 600,000 jobs added in the government sector. >> see -- it's not your attitude about obama people care about, it's your analysis. you came out this morning and asserted, not a question mark, or a question or a concern about a coincidence, you say these chicago guys will do anything so they change the numbers. do you want to take that back? >> no, i don't want to take that back. >> there was assertion that there was jimmying with the numbers, corruption, infiltration, getting to -- it's not funny, jack. you're talking about the president of the united states playing with the bureau of labor statistics numbers. this is nixon stuff, this is what nixon did in the old days. >> chris, don't lose it now. >> i'm not losing it. look at my face. >> i can't see your face. >> do you want to take back the charge?
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that there was corruption here. >> no, i don't want to take back one word in that tweet. >> that there was corruption. you assert as of now, 5:00 this afternoon, these chicago guys will do anything, they can't debate so they change numbers. >> i didn't say what they did. i'd say they'd do anything. >> what did they do here? >> they've been calling mitt romney a liar, falsehood for the last 48 hours after the debate. >> okay. but you don't have any independent evidence, you didn't get evidence between the time the numbers came out this morning at 8:30 and 8:35 when you tweeted. you didn't use that five minutes to gather any actual information or evidence -- >> no. >> -- that there was corruption in these numbers? >> chris, i tweeted last night that i predicted it would be at 7.9. >> okay. and why did you make that prediction? >> because i guessed that's what would happen a month before the election. >> you guessed that the chicago guys would do this? >> well, i don't want to put words in the mouth of what i said last night. but that's what i did.
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>> well, this morning, i just -- let's go over the tweet one more time. the question that started this, that have a lot less iq than you. allen west and some of the real screwballs out there are following the band you're leading and the banned you put together is that there's corruption here, the chicago people, the guys around president obama got to the bls and manipulated the numbers. >> chris, stop it now. i've reviewed 14 businesses this week. from restaurants to rental cars to widgets. i've seen everybody with a third quarter equal to or weaker than the first quarter. in order to get 873,000 new jobs, you would have to have a gdp going at 4% to 5%. the second quarter was downgraded from 1.7 to 1.3. >> i know. >> the third quarter is not going to be very strong. >> jack welch, thank you very much for joining us at the top of "hardball" tonight. >> thanks, chris.
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with me now, not to fight with jack but to have a different point of view, jack bernstein. you heard that discussion. i think it's fairness. i like jack. i'm fond of the guy obviously. jack welch raised the question. it was his business instinct the and attitude towards this president, that came together at 8:35 and tweeted out this unbelievable jobs numbers, these chicago guys will do anything. can't debate so they change the numbers. i'll go back to what i just heard ezra klein say a few minutes ago out here in the room, that a 0.3% shift in the unemployment rate is not wild. it's conceivable. your thoughts? >> that's absolutely true. i mean, what i just heard from jack welch was about with respect, i guess was about ten minutes of absolute nonsense with no grounding in what the bureau of labor statistics actually does. he's absolutely right, that a very large jobs number in the household survey is an outlier, it's unusual.
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these things happen. that number has a large margin of error around it. the bureau of labor statistics are very public about that. >> these are nonpoliticians, absolute bureaucratic government surveys is. >> that's the point. it wasn't that jack welch was raising a question or there was an outlier in the data, he argued, very clearly, that the white house had a thumb on its scale, entering a political bias into the print on the bls numbers. >> that's what he tweeted. that's what he initially tweeted. now he's come back from that and says he simply has questions. go ahead. >> that's an outrageous allegation and it's an allegation that strikes at the heart of a statistical agency with a tremendous amount of integrity. i've worked at both the white house and the department of labor. the fire walls between them are extremely thick. the data processing, the analysis, the reporting are incredible rigorous and careful. this is a number that moves markets. so for a guy like that who claims to be an experienced businessman to come out and shed -- >> he is an experienced businessman.
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we have to go from there. was he angry this morning, was he political attitude anything more than economic analysis? i would say it's his attitude towards obama. i think he's somehow shocked that the number looks so good. he didn't want it to look that good. let's face it, this number will help the president. >> absolutely. it's pure political. you shouldn't be then -- you're right, for an experienced business guy who people listen to and look to to cast that kind of ridiculous aspersion is quite damaging and shouldn't be done. let's talk about the numbers. >> let's get to the reality. how good is this news today? >> how good is it did you say? >> yes. >> it's good news. it's not over the moon good news but it's good news. you also have to look at the payroll survey. there i think you see an acceleration of job growth and by the way, you know, welch has a point in sense you should never take one monthly number. that has nothing to do with political bias and all that nonsense. if there's a germ of something in there, you should never take
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one monthly number. you should average. look at the past three months, payrolls have been growing about 150,000 per month compared to 67,000 per month in the prior three months. that's acceleration, momentum on the unemployment rate. >> we cover elections here, not economics generally. ronald reagan was re-elected with a 7.2 unemployment rate. he set up the dynamic and the pr was honest. optimism is what he sold. he was able to say 7.2 is great news, great news. he got re-elected with $49 state. he lost minnesota and the district of columbia with 7.2. what should obama get with 7.8? it seems like it's within the range there and everybody's poo-poo'ing it. oh, geez, i know why jack welch is scared that number is too damn close to reagan's number. that's probably what he's worried about. >> how this works with the president's narrative, we're moving in the right direction,
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don't change horses, don't go back to a playbook that didn't work, the george bush supply side stuff that i think he can legitimately tie to mitt romney. he had a narrative that says the economy is moving in the right direction. i think this job report actually strengthens that narrative. much more than levels variables, like the level of the unemployment rate, it's momentum that i think forms voters' views on the economy. >> thank you jared bernstein for coming on. >> thank you. who is that masked moderate man on the debate stage, the guy who plans no $5 trillion tax cuts? who won't cut education, insists his health care plan covers people with pre-existing conditions. it's the same guy who now says his 47% comments were wrong. did mitt romney take his mask off or has the emperor got no clothes. also, we're beginning to learn more about the flawed strategy that caused president obama to lay a debate egg wednesday night.
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one thing they agree on, it can't happen again. it best not happen again. and unemployment rate dropped sharply last month. add rick santorum and newt gingrich to the list of republicans who would like to see big bird on the unemployment line. i guess they've had to much education, those guys. and finally, what the jobless number means and why some people don't like looking at it. this is "hardball," the place for politics. >> after losing about 800,000 jobs a month when i took office, our businesses have now added 5.2 million new jobs over the past 2 1/2 years. this morning we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since i took office. more americans entered the work force. more people are getting jobs. today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. it's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now.
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and i fought against long odds in a deep blue state but i was a severely conservative republican governor. >> sounds dangerous. welcome back. that was mitt romney famously touting his conservative credentials. back at a meeting this february. the right wing romney is no more. according to what happened this wednesday night. this week the etch-a-sketch came alive during his debate with president obama. he got away with it. he keeps this act up or will we
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have to fight a tougher fight with obama in the next rounded? michael steele is here with us and cynthia tucker is here as well. thank you, cynthia and michael, there's an old tradition in politics you go to the fringe or hard left or right to win the caucuses and start to move slowly, the big battleship around so by labor day you're ready to confront the enemy at the center. he didn't do that. he stayed right through the summer and masterfully, wednesday, started to go i'm for pre-existing condition coverage, i'm for education and all this good stuff. >> i think part of that, you're right, in your analysis there. that's what happens politically. i think for the romney campaign they took that strategy, elongated it because they had shoring up to do with their base. >> can you pull it off? can you make that switcheroo in september. >> i think you can. >> or october rather. >> i think you can. number one.
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number two, we saw obama do the same thing. he was to hillary's left, brought it around, started quoting reagan in the fall, started sounding reaganesque. this is what the politicians need to do because that's where the votes are. >> but your party has gotten so much domination by the tea party people and the neocons, you have to sign down here no taxes. >> it doesn't matter what you sign. >> it doesn't? >> at this stage of the game, it didn't matter. i'll tell you why. all those folks can vote for romney and he'll need the conservative democrats, those independents. >> i have a theory by the way people hate obama so much on the right cynthia and perhaps center right, they hate him so much that they're willing to have this guy go to the center, as long as he wins. your thoughts? >> that's absolutely true, chris, because people like karl rove and billy crystal know that mitt romney is an empty suit and they can push him around if he wins the presidency. >> oh.
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>> you know that old saying, if you stan for nothing, you won't stand for anything. well, romney doesn't stand for anything. he doesn't really have any values or principles that he really believes in except he really wants to be president. that's why we saw that new slit version of the romney-bot on wednesday night. this romneybot, they worked on him in the factory for hours. >> oh, lord, cynthia. >> making sure he had the right smile, making sure he seemed warm and sincere. well, who was that guy? >> i think he was -- >> this is not a guy we've seen on the campaign trail for the last -- >> i can't take any of this seriously. >> -- for the last several months. >> i think first off the whole idea that this guy is an empty suit is laughable to say that, number one. he was the governor of a state and was successful. he was able to cobble together the coalition, something this president hasn't been able to do quite frankly to get his agenda
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done. >> why does he keep saying -- this one gets to me. i don't like the word lie. i think he's dealing an untruth here. he did it the other night after being corrected by his staff on one of the sunday shows. he said that his health care plan, such as it's going to be, will cover people who don't have coverage for pre-existing conditions and they try to buy a policy and he keeps saying they can buy one and he'll make sure they can buy one legally. there will be such policies made available. then they say it only covers people who have been paying into health insurance since they've been very young and not ill. the same thing happened last time, he says it covered pre-existing conditions and his staffer came out and say it didn't. why does he keep saying something he knows a staffer will correct later? he wins the battle before 70 million people. 70 million people hear it and nobody comes out later.
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he plays to the biggest crowd, what he wants to say. >> why are you acting like you're so surprised by that. >> it is dishonest. >> it's not dishonest. i think what he's saying, his plan, and it's still a plan that's evolving as the president's plans are evolving. >> okay. >> that's what happens in this game. >> michael steele, thank you. cynthia tucker. have a nice week weekend. we'll all be enjoying that 7.8 unemployment rate. i'm sure you'll be celebrating it till halloween. they're talking about cutting for big bird. that's not going very well. wait until you hear what rick santorum wants to do with big bird. you can guess. he wants to home school big bird, i guess. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain;
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overmany discounts to thine customers! [old english accent] safe driver, multi-car, paid in full -- a most fulsome bounty indeed, lord jamie. thou cometh and we thy saveth! what are you doing? we doth offer so many discounts, we have some to spare. oh, you have any of those homeowners discounts? here we go. thank you. he took my shield, my lady. these are troubling times in the kingdom. more discounts than we knoweth what to do with. now that's progressive. back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." in wednesday's debate you saw romney pushing moderator jim lehrer around pretty much at will. eventually president obama joined in.
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but here is a flashback of the romney/lehrer face-off from jimmy fallon. >> it's my priority to repeal obama -- >> okay, now, governor romney you are well over the two-minute allotted -- >> jim, i still have 30 seconds here on -- >> if -- >> jim, jim -- just politely going to hush you up a bit. >> going to keep you. >> na, na, na. >> respect the governor -- >> jim, do us all a favor and just -- i think it's a little weird that you're here still. you can just leave and do whatever you want. >> no, i'm the moderator here. >> jim -- >> hold on now. >> i'm going to have to ask you to step down, okay? ja, ja, ja. no. >> that's just a noise. >> jim, jim, jim, would you shut the [ bleep ] up. >> that was a facsimile i think. more from the debate aftermath. the big bird nonsense continues. how did the former gop candidates feel about the mitt romney pledge to stop funding for pbs if elected president? first, rick santorum last night on cnn.
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>> would you kill big bird? >> well, as a matter of fact, i voted to kill big bird in the past. it doesn't mean i don't like big bird. you can kill things and still like them. maybe to eat them, i don't know. >> you can kill things but still like them? very interesting. on to newt gingrich who went to one zoo after another during his presidential campaign. newt was on cnn last night with former michigan governor jennifer granholm, an active obama supporter, of course. let's take a look. >> newt gingrich, should big bird be killed or not? >> that's total baloney. big bird makes millions and millions of dollars annually. >> save big bird! >> it's a commercially profitable show. >> save big bird! >> you would save big bird? >> i would save big bird by liberating big bird from the bureaucracy. >> jennifer granholm looks like she's still at the convention in charlotte. of course, he's a big bird fan. may look like he and granholm
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are on the same page with keeping big board around but newt still wants to do away with government support for pbs and other public programming. that's it for "hardball." coming up, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. this new select-a-size magic eraser, i mean, he can take on any size job. look how easily he gets things cleaned. it's enough to make you cry. you, specifically. not me. i'm just happy we don't go near rex's mobile home as often. because it's hard to clean or because you're scared of an itty-bitty doggy? [ dog barks ] aah! oh! [ clears throat ] yeah, that was a sneeze. i think i sprayed myself. [ male announcer ] new mr. clean select-a-size magic eraser. lets you pick the right size for every job.
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